Surrogacy is an amazing experience. And when determining where to go to build your family when surrogacy is the right fit for you, there are a number of important factors to consider. These include: where to find the most skilled fertility doctors, where to connect with the most trusted and nurturing surrogates, and most importantly, where the laws are most supportive of surrogacy arrangements.
Fortunately, the United States is at the top of the pack when it comes to a supportive legal environment to pursue your family-building journey. Why?
You Don’t Have To Risk Going to Jail To Have Your Dream Family
Although surrogacy is one of the only options for many couples and individuals to have the child they dreamed of, it is illegal in many countries. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, and Portugal prohibit all forms of surrogacy.
Worse, some countries, such as Hong Kong, have criminalized entering into a compensated surrogacy arrangement, going so far as to make it punishable by time in jail. Most states in the United States either have no laws forbidding surrogacy or are supportive of surrogacy. Of course, there are exceptions, and it is important to steer clear of certain states. Michigan is one state that has outlawed surrogacy, and Michigan state law does prescribe jail time for a violation.
You Can Secure Legal Recognition Of Your Parental Rights, Even Before Your Baby Is Born.
Many states in the United States, including Colorado and California, permit the parties to a surrogacy arrangement to petition a local court to recognize the intended parents as the child’s legal parents, even before the child is born.
The pre-birth order process gives parents peace of mind. They can be confident that they are already recognized as their child’s parents when he or she is born. Moreover, they don’t have to fear a surrogate changing her mind and attempting to keep their child. Other countries and jurisdictions, while permitting surrogacy, may require the intended parents to go through a full adoption process to adopt their own child.
You Can Fairly Compensate Your Surrogate.
Some countries – including the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Belgium—allow surrogacy, but only on an “altruistic” basis. That is, they prohibit any paid surrogacy arrangements. This creates a few problems. First, most intended parents want to reward and compensate a woman willing to sacrifice her time and energy to help them. Second, a complete ban on compensation severely limits intended parents’ ability to find someone willing to be their surrogate.
On the other hand, most states in the United States have no issues with compensating a surrogate with few exceptions, such as Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska.
Given the circumstances, it will generally be advisable to go through the surrogacy process in the United States. So, in addition to getting to see the Rocky Mountains or Golden Gate Bridge, you can plan your surrogacy journey for the United States to provide maximum legal protection for you, your child, and your surrogate.
Article by Ellen Trachman. Ellen Trachman is the Managing Attorney of Trachman Law Center, LLC, a Denver-based law firm specializing in assisted reproductive technology law. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.